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Renewable Energy News

Rocket technology idea wins Global Impact Challenge Award

By: Mia Breytenbach     16th June 2017 The idea to use innovative rocket technology that uses asteroid metal as fuel to achieve industrial-scale transport of mined asteroid material has been crowned the winner of the 2017 Singularity University Global Impact Challenge (GIC) Southern Africa edition competition. The US-based Singularity... 

Budding local wind technicians graduate on Global Wind Day

By: Kim Cloete     15th June 2017 After seven months of intense training, 18 young South Africans graduated from the internationally recognised Wind Turbine Service Technician programme, in Cape Town, on Thursday, which also happened to be Global Wind Day. Five of the seven months of training were spent at the South African... 

Wind energy continues to grow as installed capacity reaches 500 GW

By: Anine Kilian     15th June 2017 Wind energy has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future and, with over 500 GW of capacity installed worldwide, it is a leading source of new power generation globally. In 2016, $112.5-billion was invested in wind power globally, and the industry now employs 1.2-million people,... 

South Africa should be proud of wind energy achievements 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th June 2017 South Africa has, in three years, become the largest wind power producer on the continent, generating 1.4 GW of electricity from 600 wind turbines.  On the eve of Global Wind Day, South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) CEO Brenda Martin said the industry should be proud, not only... 

South Africa should be proud of wind energy achievements

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2017 A member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) has pointed to serious shortcomings in South Africa’s current energy planning processes and has called for future plans, including the highly contested Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for electricity, to be compiled by a new independent technical... 

NPC commissioner calls for energy-planning overhaul

Renewable energy eclipsing coal – Fieldstone 

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2017 Renewable energy is very rapidly ousting coal, which could present a blow to Botswana, which has been pinning its hopes on coal replacing the static diamond industry as its new platform for economic growth. “Renewable energy is just about the only thing being invested in,” Fieldstone Africa MD... 

Renewable energy eclipsing coal – Fieldstone
Photo by Martin Creamer
Fieldstone Africa MD Jonathan Berman

Senwes launches first silo PV system

By: Anine Kilian     9th June 2017 Agricultural company Senwes has launched the first silo solar photovoltaic (PV) system in South Africa, at its Hennenman silo, in the Free State. “Around 1 120 solar panels were installed, with a total capacity of 358 kW. The total projected solar utilisation is 472 460 kWh/y, which constitutes... 

Senwes launches first silo PV system

Local embedded generation requires management

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 Although embedded power generation is gaining traction nationwide, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) national project manager Alf Hartzenburg says the benefits of such generation have to be managed. Embedded generation entails... 

Local embedded generation requires management
Photo by Bloomberg
SELF-SUFFICIENT The proliferation of embedded generation has led to a decrease in electricity sales this year

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 The main feature of global demand for energy is a shift to maximising efficiency through delivering energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour, says independent process industry consultant Santosh Gunpath. He tells Engineering News that this was evident from his interactions with industry... 

Industry trends shift towards efficient, intelligent strategies
Photo by Bloomberg
EFFICIENCY PRIORITISED With energy integral to every process, the objective should be to maximise the efficiency of delivering the necessary energy at the lowest cost per kilowatt per hour

IRP draft hinders cogeneration opportunities  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2017 An unintended consequence of the recently published draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for energy is that because it excludes cogeneration as a viable technology, cogenerators will be unable to participate in the energy market without Ministerial consent, says Paper Manufacturers Association of... 

IRP draft hinders cogeneration opportunities
Photo by Bloomberg
OVERLOOKED ENTITY The impact of the DoE IRP draft excludeing cogeneration as a viable, green technology raises concerns forpulp and paper industry

Company wins $157m boiler contract

     9th June 2017 India-based energy and environmental engineering solutions company Thermax has won export contracts from an undisclosed leading African conglomerate to supply four utility boilers, eight heat recovery steam generators and two flue gas steam generators for its upcoming refinery and petrochemicals... 

Company wins $157m boiler contract
BOILER POWER Thermax is supplying four utility boilers for a refinery and petrochemical project in Nigeria

Company unveils containerised gas-to-power product offering

By: David Oliveira     9th June 2017 Cape Town-based containerised renewable-energy generation company SustainPower hosted their official gas-to-power product launch at African Utility Week (AUW), held in Cape Town last month. The company focusses on containerised gas-to-power and solar solutions with the integration of technologies... 

Residential solar PV poses significant threat to utility model 

By: David Oliveira     9th June 2017 Increasing environmental awareness was driving South Africans to invest in a more sustainable future by installing solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop panels, global professional service company Accenture resources associate director Ashley Maistry said at the African Utility Week, held in Cape Town... 

Need for businesses to become energy efficient

     9th June 2017 According to the International Energy Agency, many companies are using up to 100% more energy than they would if they were best practice energy efficient businesses, says provider of efficient solutions for reducing energy costs and carbon emissions Ensight Energy Solutions CEO Francis Barram. 

Conglomerate helps company reduce power generation costs

     9th June 2017 US-based multinational conglomerate corporation General Electric (GE) have announced an agreement with the world’s largest aluminium rolling company Hindalco Industries to upgrade generation equipment at its Renusagar Captive Power Plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. GE will modernise two steam... 

Hulisani overhauls management to align with strategy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     7th June 2017 JSE-listed investment holding company Hulisani has appointed its current CIO Marubini Raphulu as its new CEO, effective July 1. Raphulu takes the reins from Hulisani co-founder Malungelo Zilimbola, who will continue to serve as a member of the board in a nonexecutive role and who will remain... 

Upliftment model launched to help BoP SMMEs

By: Anine Kilian     7th June 2017 Turnkey business solutions provider Modular has launched its Modularise initiative and show room, in Pretoria. The Modular Innoboxes are made from reusable storage containers and contain the hardware, software and educational content to run a successful business in a micro economy.  

Upliftment model launched to help BoP SMMEs
Hasan Darwish

Eskom and Huawei team up to deliver smart grid by 2030

By: David Oliveira     2nd June 2017 To take better advantage of the increasing adoption of smart grid technology, State-owned power utility Eskom announced a partnership with global information communication technology (ICT) company Huawei at the African Utility Week, which took place in Cape Town last month. The Huawei-Eskom... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study

By: Mia Breytenbach     2nd June 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Johannesburg-based independent power developer Pele Green Energy. The grant will fund a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, in the Free State. US Consul General of Cape Town... 

US agency awards grant to SA IPP for Free State solar study
Photo by Bloomberg
NECESSARY ANALYSIS The grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, in the Free State

Ring main unit launched to cater for increased renewables output

By: David Oliveira     2nd June 2017 Electrical engineering firm Lucy Electric launched its modular Aegis36 ring main unit at Africa Utility Week, which took place in Cape Town last month. The unit is designed for switchgear of up to 36 kV installed in secondary distribution networks and particularly for renewable-energy projects. 

Hulisani completes acquisition of Momentous Technology, posts maiden results

By: Anine Kilian     1st June 2017 JSE-listed Hulisani has completed the R122-million acquisition of Momentous Technology, which owns a stake in the 7MW Rustmo1 Solar Farm. Hulisani CEO Marubini Raphulu on Thursday said the acquisition is an important step in the company’s long-term strategy. 

Renewable Energy Holdings signs private power supply contract

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th May 2017 Bethlehem Hydro, an independent power producer (IPP) and subsidiary of Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), has entered into a contract under which the full output from its 4 MW Merino hydropower plant, near Clarens, in the Free State, will be sold to electricity trader PowerX. REH and Bethlehem... 

$100-million loan for African infrastructure spending

By: Nadine James     26th May 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in March signed a $100-million loan agreement aimed at furthering the DBSA’s infrastructure financing activity across Africa. This flexible credit line will focus on DBSA’s four strategic sectors:... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim

By: Dylan Slater     26th May 2017 The 2017 Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower was recently presented by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to local greenfield independent power plants developer Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) for its contribution to the hydropower sector during the World Hydropower Congress,... 

Free State hydropower plant receives international acclaim
ANTON-LOUIS OLIVIER Renewable Energy Holdings was recently awarded the Monsonyi Award for Excellence in Hydropower for its role in three small hydropower projects in South Africa

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy

By: Anine Kilian     25th May 2017 Global private engineering company Sener believes the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, together with the 100 MW Ilanga and 100 MW Kathu CSP plants, will significantly contribute to South Africa’s green economy. Sener is the engineering, procurement and construction partner on... 

CSP projects boost South Africa’s green economy
Bokpoort CSP

Central Energy Fund to be restructured 

     25th May 2017 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the Energy Minister’s plans to restructure the Central Energy Fund, as well as the Minister’s promise to provide some certainty regarding a resolution to the renewables impasse. 

Central Energy Fund to be restructured
Central Energy Fund to be restructured

Eskom tests microgrid technology in Free State

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd May 2017 The Eskom Research, Testing and Development (RT&D) unit is building a MicroGrid technology demonstration plant in a rural unelectrified village, near Ficksburg, in the Free State. “This project is a demonstration of next-horizon technology that supports Eskom’s future strategic objectives, as... 

Builders Warehouse launches its first store featuring renewable energy

By: Anine Kilian     22nd May 2017 The North Riding-based Builders Warehouse, which forms part of the Builders Warehouse chain of stores owned by management company Massmart, has installed a 126 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which comprises 400 roof-mounted polycrystalline PV panels. The plant will provide 70% of the store’s... 

Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2017 A joint departmental task team set up to find solutions to the current impasse holding back the signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 37 renewable-energy projects procured in 2015 will report back in the first week of June, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reported on Friday. The task... 

 Task team deliberating on renewables impasse to report ‘first week in June’
Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubay

US awards grant to SA renewable energy company

By: African News Agency      19th May 2017 The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power developer based in Johannesburg. Wednesday’s grant funds a feasibility study to assess the viability of a 75 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in the Free State province of South... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 Following State-owned power utility Eskom’s decision last year not to sign a number of contracts with independent power producers (IPP) and the delay in doing so since, industry leaders are warning that a loss in investments in the renewables sector could lead to a severe plateau in... 

Industry leaders warn of loss in investments in renewables sector
Photo by Bloomberg
NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY Eskom is responsible for generating about 95% of South Africa’s electricity and the firm mainly relies on coal for its power generation

Millions invested in renewables, research excellence

     19th May 2017 Last month, State-owned power utility Eskom says over an extended period of time, funded research work done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University has ostensibly benefited research in the renewables space. “Eskom’s unique role in driving... 

Young innovative entrepreneurs offer renewable-energy solutions

By: Johane Turkstra     19th May 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s Development Foundation’s yearly Business Investment Competition (BIC) continues to discover businesses bringing about positive socioeconomic changes to the benefit of communities and the country. The latest such business is solar energy company Lamo Solar, which... 

Young innovative  entrepreneurs offer  renewable-energy solutions
LAMO SOLAR Co-owners Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu and Elmond Khoza

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th May 2017 Water solutions company Amanziflow Projects have installed more than 400 of its locally developed Fluid Dynamic Systems automatic diaphragm valves (FDS-DVs) across Southern Africa to date.  

Company reaches 400-mark installation milestone
AUTOMATIC APPLICATION The equipment requires no electrical supply or labour to operate

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th May 2017 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) on Thursday said that Eskom’s justifying the proposed closure of some its coal-fired power plants, in Mpumalanga, as being the result of signing power purchase agreements for new renewable energy projects, is misleading. “Coal plants have a... 

Sarec again defends renewable energy programme in light of proposed coal station closures

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
GreenTower inventor Andre Nel

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

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